AN: Just a very quick one shot that I thought up when I accidentally stubbed my toe today. It's just a short moment when Harry realizes he fancies Hermione, nothing too fancy or anything.
Bludger to the Face
Harry groaned as he looked over at Ron and his ridiculous attempts to show off in front of Lavender.
"Ron!" he bellowed, finally losing his cool, "Pay attention mate! You've let six points in since this practice started!"
He saw Ron grumble something about taking practice games too seriously and Lavender give him a dirty look from her seat in the stands but frankly didn't care. He'd always wished for a normal year, just one year, where he wasn't involved in some plot that aimed to kill him and, as far as he knew, he'd gotten that. Malfoy was up to something, and there'd been some odd on goings this year, but all things considered it seemed as if he was finally getting a year to simply be a normal teenage boy.
Unfortunately he'd gotten the bad side of being a normal teenage boy.
First the thing with Ginny, which wouldn't be so bad in itself if only he had some sort of warning beforehand. "Listen Harry," the warning could have said, "This year you'll find yourself inexplicably drawn to Ginny, your best mate's little sister, and you'll feel uncomfortable whenever you see her with another boy despite the fact that you've never had any sort of romantic interest in her before this." Harry shook his head as he realized his gaze had been wandering over to Ginny's bum as she hovered around the field. Hormones, he thought, I'm sure it's all hormones.
He threw another glance at her bum.
Secondly this ridiculous thing that was going on between Ron, Lavender and Hermione.
It wasn't so much Ron and Lavender, since Ron's behavior made some sense since it gave Ron a chance to be in the spotlight. Sure, Keeper wasn't as prestigious as Captain, but out of the two of them who had a girlfriend? Ron. Harry was happy for his mate, he hadn't seen him this confident and feeling good about himself since… well, maybe he'd never seen him this confident and happy. So good on him for getting a girl. And Lavender… well, he didn't know her well enough to figure if this was normal behavior for her but really, she seemed like a nice girl. All things considered Harry thought that their relationship was going at just about the pace he'd thought all teenage romances did; a lot of snogging and not a whole lot of talking. I'd do that with Gin- Harry grit his teeth and looked over at Peakes, "Peakes! Try staying a bit further from Coote, cover more ground!" he yelled in an attempt to stop those ridiculous hormonal thoughts, though it did help that Peakes was flying to close to Coote to be useful as a Beater.
No, the problem was Hermione and Ron.
It was clear that Hermione fancied Ron, everyone seemed to know that since at least 4th year. Their constant bickering, he'd been told, was evidence of some sort of attraction between the two. This didn't seem to make much sense to him, considering every successful couple he'd laid eyes on didn't bicker in the same way Hermione and Ron did, but what did he know about relationships? Before this year he didn't even think about Ginny and now he couldn't keep his eyes off of her bum. Mister and Missus Weasley didn't bicker when they were at Hogwarts, he'd learned that from the few times he'd asked them about their younger days. Sirius, on the few times he'd asked him about his younger days, had always told him that bickering with a girl you fancy was a bad idea. Even his uncle and aunt didn't bicker with each other…
Hormones, he figured. It must all be hormones.
Still, Hermione never seemed like the type of girl to do what she was doing. Taking McLaggen to Slughorn's party to get Ron jealous, being petty and vindictive towards Lavender, who, from what Harry could tell, hadn't done anything to her. If he really stopped and thought about it, as he was doing right now since his team was doing quite fine on their own, it seemed as if Ron had fouled things up by starting a relationship with Lavender after he had agreed to be Hermione's date to Slughorn's party. And Hermione was fouling things up by taking out her anger on Lavender, which only made Ron angrier.
Harry sighed and looked down at the stands, at Hermione.
The worst part was probably Hermione's behavior towards him. Over a book. It didn't make sense, not really. Why would Hermione, of all the people in the world, be upset that he was finally doing well in Potions? Shouldn't she be jumping for joy and congratulating him on finally raising his grade point average? Shouldn't she be just as interested in the book and all its wonderful Potions advice? Harry sighed in frustration, his best friend's behavior making about as much sense as History with Binns did. He thought he had the right handle on Hermione's personality after knowing her for so many years but it seemed he was wrong. She went from being a sweet, quiet bookworm to… Harry felt his stomach twist up as he realized she was acting almost like Lavender and Parvati did whenever they fancied a boy. Maybe, he began to wonder, she's just taking out all her frustrations over Ron and Lavender on me? He nodded to himself as he began to agree with his own opinion the more he thought on it. It's not really the book she's angry about, he began to ponder, After all, if she thought the book was dangerous she'd simply call McGonagall like she did in third year and have the book confiscated and checked for dark arts… and if she thought the book was cheating then surely she'd also report me to McGonagall. It's not like she goes easy on Ron and me for slacking off on our work or failing to study or practice. She's angry at Ron for going off with Lavender and… and maybe she's mad at me for not being mad at Ron? He wasn't sure where that stray thought came from, but it suddenly stuck in his mind. He had been there when Hermione had made her rather shy attempt to ask Ron to be her date to Slughorn's party and had also seen and heard Ron agree. So, from Hermione's point of view, he was also in the wrong for not sticking up for her, for not telling Ron "Hey mate what are you doing, you've already got a date planned with Hermione!" Harry frowned to himself, he hadn't said anything to Ron even though he should have. Whenever Ron started one of his arguments with him Hermione always came to his defense so his lack of action must have hurt her.
Harry shuddered, realizing that he'd had a hand in all of this. He looked over at Hermione again, who was a bit busy eyeing Ron and throwing dirty glares at lavender whenever the girl cheered for her "Won-Won". That was one of his best friends down there and he'd hurt her, inadvertently maybe, but he'd still hurt her. Well, I'll have to apologize to her and make it up to-
He had to cut off his train of thought as he ducked, a Bludger flying past him just as he did so.
"Peakes!" he yelled, "I told you to stay further from Coote! No, I can see that you are flying too close to him!" He threw Peakes a smile, telling the Beater that he wasn't really mad, he simply had to act the part of the team Captain with Peakes laughing in return.
I guess this is a part of being normal, he though as he lazily watched his team execute a near perfect Rumplestiltskin Triple Pass, Teenage romance. Remus and Sirius warned me about this, he thought, his heart feeling slightly lighter now that he thought of the few happy times he'd had with Sirius. Said that sooner or later I'd act like a complete tosser over a witch, act like a fool. His eyes slowly made their way over to Ginny, who was stretching in just the right way that arched her back and made her chest stand out.
Right, hormones. Well, at least this is better than attempts on my li-
Harry had become well acquainted with the Bludger. Beside the Snitch itself it was the Quidditch ball that he had most contact with and as such he had learned to take a Bludger to his face with as much grace as he possibly could. In reality taking a 67 kilogram ball of iron moving at somewhere around 12 meters per second to the face gracefully meant very little, it still hurt terribly and still broke his nose, smashed in the side of his face that it hit against, still busted his lip and knocked several teeth out and flung them across the field. The "taking it gracefully" part came in when he didn't immediately pass out, unlike other times he stayed awake as he felt his body go limp and get knocked straight off of his broom. The Bludger must have done a number on his head because the entire world seemed to be going in slow motion.
It felt like a long way down.
He got a good long look at everyone on the way down though it wasn't long before his eyes quickly darted over to Ginny. He smiled-or he assumed he smiled-he wasn't sure if he was actually able to form such an expression before his mind registered what he was seeing, he had hoped that watching Ginny in slow motion would be twice as wonderful as watching her normally. He had stolen glances of her before, wonderful eye opening glances, and had hoped that his current greatly accelerated mental state would allow him to enjoy watching her for a long, long time. She wasn't as wonderfully beautiful as he had suspected. She was quite pretty, that he couldn't deny, but suddenly getting a good long look at her he realized that he had somehow thought more of her. Of course it was all there, every reason to think of her as amazingly beautiful, nice legs, bum, chest, a cute face. And she loved Quidditch! And…
Well he wasn't really sure about anything beyond that.
Looking back at it he couldn't think of any single conversation that stood out in his mind as particularly enjoyable, no conversation that he could recall that had made them connect over anything beyond Quidditch or the DA. He racked his brain, there must have been at least one pleasant conversation right? He frowned as he realized that there wasn't. He'd spent all that time with her in the DA and he wasn't calling up any memories of any great jokes, any intimate conversations with her, any bonding over shared and common interests. He didn't really think about her in his last year now that he thought about it.
Well, I was caught up over Cho that year… Harry mused before looking at her again. He looked at her hair which suddenly reminded him of Cho. A lot of her reminded him of Cho. Both were quite pretty girls who played Quidditch, both girls that he had started to fancy and…
Now he realized that he had really nothing in common with Cho either. Well, at least if they did have anything in common it was incredibly hard to figure that out over their complete lack of conversation. Harry suddenly wondered about that. He had fancied Cho, so during their one ill-fated date he could have attempted to make conversation with her couldn't he have? But he didn't. It was awkward and uncomfortable for him and for her. Of course she was still thinking about Cedric.
Maybe me and Cho weren't right for each other?
Harry began to think about the similarities between his current fancy for Ginny and his past fancy with Cho. He had thought he'd have every reason to "click" with Cho-he also wondered if Ron would take the mickey out of him for using such a girlish term-but they hadn't. He looked over at Ginny again and took all of this in. She was pretty, and she liked Quidditch and he didn't remember a single conversation that they'd had all year long.
Harry had been falling for one second, 4.9 meters had been covered by his fall.
Harry realized that he had a habit of this. There were plenty of pretty girls in the castle, if he was honest with himself several of them much prettier than Cho or Ginny could hope to be. Yet he hadn't ever really shown any interest in getting to know those girls either. He suddenly frowned, he was Harry Potter wasn't he? Yes, he hated all the titles people seemed to throw at him, all the fame, but he suddenly realized that it also came with benefits. He'd always been hounded by witches all his life. And he ignored all of them.
Harry frowned as he thought about this.
He'd ignored all of them, hadn't ever made any attempt to get to know them. Parvati suddenly came into his mind. She was quite pretty and from her time in the DA he know she was quite smart and friendly. And yet when she was his date to the Yule Ball he hadn't paid much attention to her. Or even afterwards. He scrunched his face in concentration-though anyone looking at him could swear he still had the "I-was-just-hit-with-a-Bludger" look-he could have gotten to know Parvati better after the Yule Ball, walked up to her and apologized for being a complete prat to her and ruining her night, asked if she wanted to give it another go and invited her to Hogsmaede.
I could have asked Luna to be my date as "more than friends".
He thought about that too. He had asked Luna to be his date to Slughorn's Party, she had said yes. Of course, she had said yes when he suggested it as being "as friends" but why didn't he simply ask her as a real date? She was pretty. Harry nodded to himself, she was quite pretty. She had wonderful eyes, she had long flowing blonde hair, her hands were nice to hold. She was a little on the petite side, but Harry saw nothing wrong with that. Really, if he got down to it, her slightly odd personality gave her a bit of a charm that he couldn't really see in any of the other girls. Really, she was one of the few interesting girls in all of Hogwarts. She had never fallen for that "Boy-Who-Lived" tripe that was constantly spouted amongst everyone else in the wizarding world, she'd always seen him as just Harry. She'd even given him some wonderful words after Sirius' death.
She was much certainly much more memorable than his past two crushes-Harry suddenly realized that he thought of Ginny as a past crush-Ginny and Cho were both Quidditch players, pretty Quidditch players. Two pretty Quidditch players who he couldn't remember a single conversation with.
Luna, on the other hand…
But, he hadn't felt anything like that for Luna either. Even now, when he realized that he probably should have felt something more than friendly feelings for her, he realized that he couldn't. Once again he realized that it was all there, she was smart and funny and cute in a quirky way and had helped him through a hard time in his life… but still something didn't' click in the right way that made him crazy for her.
Harry began to fret, he tried to go through every single witch he'd ever known as he tried to find one that he had actually felt something with.
His eyes flicked over to the Snitch, it had flown right by his face, so much that he could see his own reflection on its polished gold exterior. He was a natural born Seeker and tracked it with his eyes even though he knew he could do nothing to actually catch it. He tracked it as it flew around, did a lazy loop, circled his head three times before leading him to Hermione.
Harry had been falling for 2 seconds, he'd fallen 19.6 meters.
He wasn't sure what had hit him harder, the Bludger or Hermione's image. He quickly assessed the pain he was currently feeling and tried to recall the impact from so long ago…
Hermione had definitely hit him like a freight train.
He'd somehow never actually looked at her.
Not true, he stopped himself. He had looked at her, he'd looked at her at the Yule Ball when she walked down the stairs in her dress, her hair done up, her lips shining and smiling, her entire face beaming with happiness. He remembered simply staring at her, staring and having his mouth open as he was struck with how wonderful she looked. And right now she looked just as wonderful. She was yelling something, though he looked like she was mouthing something to him, he saw how wonderfully her lips moved when she spoke. He wasn't sure how he could tell that her lips were pink, they were quite a ways away from each other, but he was sure they were. Either from the cold-he realized she looked wonderful whenever she was cold as her nose and cheeks would start to turn pink- or because she'd been biting them while reading a book or studying or worrying about the idiotic stunts he had been doing earlier in the practice session to try to impress Ginny.
He didn't need to think about their friendship. His friendship with her was something he could almost feel somewhere deep in his gut. She'd always be there for him and he'd always be there for her.
And that was really all that he needed. A smack to the face and he started feeling a funny sensation in his gut that was not at all related to his fall towards the Earth as he looked at Hermione.
He wondered if he should.
He began planning how he'd proceed with this newfound revelation. He'd be seeing her in no time at all he realized. After all, he was quite sure he was about to pass out from the impact with the ground, he'd be unconscious for a while, then he'd wake up in the Hospital Wing and, he'd bet his entire fortune in this next part, that she'd be sitting right next to his cot and worrying herself sick over him.
And then what would he do?
She still fancies Ron… Harry's thoughts suddenly reminded him. If he made a move on Hermione his best mate would certainly-
Hold on, but Ron is dating Lavender.
Ron was dating Lavender.
Harry beamed, his smile unknowingly ruined by the loss of a few teeth and a busted lip and streaks of blood that fell around him. Ron had absolutely no say in this entire thing, he had a girlfriend and he had, for all intents and purposes, rejected Hermione by starting his current relationship. So Ron was out of the picture, at least as far as he was concerned, but Hermione fancied him…
Harry felt a confidence with witches that he'd never felt in his life. He wasn't sure if the Bludger had knocked this confidence into him or if it had just knocked some brains around in his head and made him realize some self confidence that he had buried deep within himself, but the effect was the same. He smiled as he looked at Hermione.
He'd make her forget all about Ron.
As finally hit the ground at 3 seconds, he had fallen 44.12 meters and fallen hard for his best friend.